How long it would take you to learn the English language depends on how fast you will learn new words, among other factors. You can be excellent at grammar, but if you’re not trying to expand your vocabulary, you won’t get far.
Memorizing new words, however, is not always easy. And, there’s no magic trick that can help you remember every word that you see or hear. The truth is, the whole learning process takes time, effort, and most importantly, using the right techniques.
So, we’re going to share some great tips to help you memorize new words faster.
How to Memorize New Words Faster
Here are a few techniques that will help you learn new words faster and more effectively.
1. Use Spaced Repetition
Spaced repetition is a proven language-learning technique that will help you memorize new words better. You get to repeat words across specific intervals of time until they are stored in your long-term memory.
So, it’s not about repeating the words over and over again. It’s just not how this technique works. Instead, you find out a new word, such as “mesmerizing”, and you repeat it a few minutes later, a few hours later, the next day, after a few days, after a week, etc.
2. Link New Words with Funny Images
This is a popular word-learning strategy to help you memorize complex words and phrases by using mnemonic images.
For example, you link the new word with a funny image in your head. Let’s say you want to memorize the word “walrus.” On its own, the word “walrus” may be hard to remember, but if you link it with an image of a walrus wearing sunglasses and drinking a cocktail by the pool, it’s almost impossible to forget it.
We’re sure that when you recall that walrus image you’ll remember the word.
3. Put the New Words in Context
Putting new words in sentences is an incredibly effective way to learn them. By using the word in a real-life sentence, you are storing it in your memory better. This way, you remember the word and learn how to use it correctly.
Let’s say you want to memorize the word “accelerate”. Instead of trying to remember just the word, try remembering a whole sentence such as “Vehicles accelerate when the driver steps on the gas.”
4. Find the Word in a Song Lyrics
Words are so much easier to remember when sang than when read or pronounced as a text. The melody and rhyming make it easier and more fun to memorize any word. Just think about it, how many hits you can sing in English? Probably more than you can count.
So, if you have new words to remember, find them in song lyrics and play the songs a few times. We bet you’ll remember the new words a lot faster than usual. And, you’ll have much more fun.
5. Write It Down
Writing new words down on a piece of paper will help you remember them a lot easier. This, however, doesn’t mean you should type them out on your computer or mobile phone. When it comes to memorizing words or text, using pen and paper is much more effective.
If you have new words to remember, this technique is definitely worth a try. Write them down on a piece of paper a few times. If you can include them in meaningful or funny sentences and write the whole sentences down, that’s even better. You’ll be surprised how much this vocabulary-learning strategy works.
6. Describe the Words in English
Try to explain any new vocabulary in your own words, but make sure you do this in English and not in your mother tongue. You can write the new word down and how you understand it, or give a few synonyms in English.
For example, if you want to memorize the word “meticulous”, try by writing any of the following:
Meticulous – someone who’s very careful and has an eye for detail.
Meticulous – careful, diligent, conscientious
7. Use Flashcards
A good way to learn new words is to make flashcards and place them somewhere you can see them often. So, whenever you see a flashcard with a new word, make sure you read it out loud.
Even though you can make your own flashcards, you can always find free flashcards that are ready for printing. There are many websites that offer free samples and most of them include images that will help you memorize the word easier.
8. Share What You Learn
Teaching is the best way to learn something – e phenomenon known as the Protégé Effect. When you explain, teach, or at least mention what you’ve learned to another person, you’re actually understanding it on a deeper level and storing it in your long-term memory.
By sharing what you know and using the information more often, you’re helping yourself to learn it better.
Therefore, if you want to memorize new words, tell them to someone by explaining their meaning and allow them to ask you about the words. This way, you get to use the words more often until you truly understand them.
8. Make Word Pairs
If you want to learn a new word, find a few synonyms and at least one antonym. These are words that have the same or similar meaning, and words with the opposite meaning respectively. This method will help you understand and memorize the new word. Plus, it’ll help you learn even more words than planned.
Let’s say you want to memorize the word “exquisite”. Find a few synonyms such as “delicate” and “beautiful”, and antonyms such as “flawed” or “careless” and memorize them together.
To Sum Up
Even though these are all effective ways to help you learn new words in English, you can try them out and see what works best for you.